|A cow moose that we saw coming back from our first two covers.|
I can’t tell you how many times a year Tony and I drive by this small pond surrounded by bog, and almost every time Tony says “I always expect to see a moose standing there.” Well, today as we were coming out from our first two training runs of the morning we were going by and there was the moose. Now, every time we go by I’m sure I’ll hear about the one time there was actually a moose there.
Today we had trouble of a different type. In the first brace of the morning with Frankie and LJ, we decided to go up the hill instead of down in this one area where we usually find grouse. Last time out there we found a bunch of woodcock but no grouse yet. So if the grouse mountain wasn’t going to come to us, we decided to go to it or at least climb part of it. We were soon finding woodcock in numbers but still no grouse. Then it happened. Frankie started ranging out and was soon standing 250 yards away. Before Tony could get to him he had moved on and was soon over 300 yards away. Stopping and going he soon disappeared over a shoulder of the mountainside at 540 yards. When we got up higher my Garmin picked him up at 650+ yards. By this time Tony and I had gotten separated and I switched to the map view and could see that Frankie was headed for another of the woods roads that crisscross the industrial forest where we train. I decided to take LJ and head back for the truck. We had two more woodcock finds along the way for a total of twelve woodcock moved. I hopped into the truck and drove around to the other road and using the Garmin pulled up within 150 yards of Frankie and Tony who had finally caught up with him after he realized that he had his e-collar set on #1 and momentary was easily ignored by Frankie as he followed whatever forest beast had led him astray. My initial hunch was a relative of the moose pictured above. Tony is convinced it was more likely one of Yogi’s brethren. It his dog so if he wants to say he was following a bear far be it from me to argue with him.
The other dogs also got into woodcock in our grouse covers. Jack had three finds, each with a total of 5 birds and I walked up one. Bertha, Trash’s littermate that has just arrived at Tony’s for some training, had 3 finds. That put us at 21 woodcock in two braces. As we got to the last cover, it was already getting hot and Trip and Little Thudd had a relatively short brace with two more woodcock finds to give us a total for the morning of 23 woodcock and 0 grouse. Don’t worry Timmy, the Little Thudster got a full hour and 1/2 yesterday with multiple finds I just happened to be driving my family to the airport and can’t report on what I didn’t see.